AIE to EPA on release of national database of illegal dumps

AIE submitted 6/1/22


Under the AIE Regs to request access to the national database of unregulated waste disposal sites (illegal dumps)


This database is known as the Section 22 database, and link is at the following URL

http://watermaps.wfdireland.ie/LandfillRiskAssessment/Authentication/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fLandfillRiskAssessment%2fDefault.aspx

Note: all local authorities submit data on illegal dumps to EPA, but EPA do not release that data, and it is unknown what data is collected

Local Authorities must use the EPA site to register all unregulated waste disposal sites within their boundaries.

The EPA website allows users to enter the results of the Tier 1 risk assessment as required by the Code of Practice.

There are two methods whereby local authority can submit data:

If users have already completed a Tier 1 risk assessment for unregulated landfill sites, the results can be entered using the Manual Risk Assessment option.

Alternatively this Register provides an online tool for completing the Tier 1 Risk Assessment.

The WMA Section 22 register can then automatically generate reports for each site.

This site also contains links to the legislative instruments and other documents created by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the EPA relevant to unregulated landfills.

This AIE, if successful will allow members of the public to access Section 22 reports and related data

Have also cc’d this AIE to Open Data Unit, as it is one of a number of EPA databases that is not open

Initial response from EPA, which I deem as a refusal under AIE, so requested Internal Review (14/01/22)

Dear Ashley,

I refer to your request dated 6th January 2022 made under the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regs which was received on 7th January for “access to the national database of unregulated waste disposal sites” (known as the Section 22 database). 

Please note that the Section 22 database is for Local Authorities to register all sites within their boundaries where waste disposal or recovery activities have been carried out and Local Authorities are responsible for the quality and accuracy of the information therein. Access to the dataset per se cannot be provided to individuals or entities outside of Local Authorities.

In order to determine the validity of your request therefore, kindly advise on the particular information being sought from the database, the relevant time period and the preferred format for same. Where a request for access to information does not provide sufficient particulars to identify the records, it is not a valid AIE request (see information on https://www.epa.ie/who-we-are/access-to-information/access-to-information-on-the-environment)

Please also note that hosting of the database is transitioning from the EPA to the National Waste Collection Permits Office (NWCPO). Depending on the information you are seeking, your request may have to be referred to NWCPO and you will be advised of this when clarification of your request has been provided by you.

Best regards,

Claire Fahy

Claire Fahy

OEE Support Team | Office of Environmental Enforcement

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